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Phone: 801-422-3657
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Brent Slife, Professor

Department: Psychology



Dr. Slife is the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding and Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University. He has been honored recently with BYU’s highest faculty award, the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Lecturer, as well as the American Psychological Association Presidential Citation for his contribution to psychology. He has also served as the President of the Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the APA Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology and the editor of the Routledge book series in theoretical and philosophical psychology. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles and 10 books, and continues his psychotherapy practice of over 30 years where he specializes in marital and family therapies.


  • PhD, Purdue University, 1981
  • MS, Purdue University, 1977
  • BA, William Jewell College, 1976

Research Interests

I am both a clinical and theoretical psychologist. My interests encompass the theoretical underpinnings of psychotherapy and scientific methodology, and my current research involves two basic elements. The first element asks the somewhat novel question, at least in psychology: what if God truly mattered in the theory, research, and practice of psychology? The second element is the exploration of a relational ontology for psychotherapy and psychology in general. This second interest also entails theory, research, and practice on a new way of thinking about human nature as well as the good life, both vital topics in psychotherapy.


  • Karl G. Maeser, Distinguished Lecturer, Brigham Young University
  • Richard L Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, Brigham Young University
  • Alumni Professorship Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship, Brigham Young University, 2012
  • Eliza R. Snow Fellowship, Brigham Young University, 2009
  • Presidential Citation Award for Contribution to Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2008
  • APA Best Seller - Critical Thinking About Psychology, American Psychological Association Books, 2008
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor, American University of Cairo, Cairo, Egypt, 2006
  • Circle of Honor Award, Student Honor Association, BYU, 2005
  • William James Book Award Nomination, Society of General Psychology, 2005
  • APA Award for Distinguished Service to Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, American Psychological Association, 2004
  • Karl G. Maesar Award, Brigham Young University, 2002
  • Eliza R. Snow Fellowship, Brigham Young University, 2002
  • Most Outstanding Professor, Psi Chi, 2001
  • President, Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 2000

Professional Affiliations

  • Society of Evaluation, Measurement & Statistics

Publication Info

  • Brent D Slife, Gregory Martin, Sondra Sasser (2017). A prominent worldview of professional psychology: Its assumptions and its practices. Hidden worldviews in psychology.
  • Brent D Slife, Kari O'Grady (2017). A prominent worldview of psychological research: Methodology and practice. Hidden worldviews in psychology.
  • Brent D Slife, Kari O'Grady (2017). Hidden worldviews in psychology.
  • Brent D Slife, Blaine Fowers, Frank Richardson (2017). Human frailty, vice, and suffering: Flourishing in the context of limits and dependency.
  • Brent D Slife (2016). Using operational definitions in research: A best practices approach. Journal of Mind and Behavior.
  • Brent D Slife (2016). Theorizing inquiry in the moral space of practice. Qualitative Research in Psychology.
  • Brent D Slife, Lisa Scott, Adam McDonald (2016). The clash of liberal individualism and theism in psychotherapy: A case illustration. Open Theology.
  • Brent D Slife (2016). Conceptual issues in health and society: Neglected social and relational experiences and care approaches. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 36 (2), 61-130.
  • Brent D Slife, Clay Johson, Amy Jennings (2015). Surprise and practical rationality: Knowledge advancement through the explication of interpretation. The Wiley handbook of theoretical and philosophical psychology.
  • Brent D Slife (2015). A new vision. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.